Krosniewice Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Kutno
Settlement
Krośniewice
Site address
19, Poznańska Street. The entrance to the cemetery is located next to the property adjacent to the Orlen petrol station.
GPS coordinates
52.2572439, 19.156723
Perimeter length
384 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
There is a concrete wall about 1.7m high and a metal gate.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery area is extremely overgrown, which impeded the teams exploration of the site. In the central part there is a lapidarium with fragments of matzevot.
Number of existing gravestones
26. There is a lapidarium made of survived fragments of matzevot.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The Jewish cemetery in Krośniewice is located in the western part of the town, approximately 130 meters north of Poznańska Street with an acreage of approximately 0.77 hectares. The exact date of its founding is unknown; most likely it was established in the first half of the 19th century. According to local documentation, the cemetery existed in 1864.

During World War II, the cemetery was largely destroyed. Matzevot were used to pave roads and sidewalks. On September 25, 1965, the Local Presidium of the National Council in Krośniewice signed a by-law commencing the closure of the cemetery. In 1999, thanks to the efforts of an Abraham Levy from Israel, the cemetery was maintained and a small lapidary was built, housing several dozen tombstone fragments.

In 2014, thanks to the efforts of Sol Rosenkranz who lived in Krośniewice before the war, and the help of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage and the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, the cemetery was fenced and renovated. A memorial was built and unveiled at a ceremony on August 21, 2014. In 2015, an access road was built.

In 2017, on the 75th anniversary of the killing of the Jews from Krośniewice, the Jerzy Dunin-Borkowski Museum in Krośniewice together with the local government and youth activists cleaned the cemetery. At the start of August 2017, workers renovating nearby streets found fragments of two matzevot. The fragments were relocated to the cemetery.

Krośniewice was a privately-owned town founded in 1452. The first historical mention of a Jewish settlement dates back to 1564. Initially Jews in Krośniewice were part of the Łęczyce Kehilla, but in 1765, an autonomous Kehilla (Jewish community) was established. The city had 79 Jewish residents at the time. The demographic expansion of the Jewish community took place in the 19th century. In 1897, the Jewish community numbered 5054 residents, comprising 43% of the total population. In the interwar period, there were around 1,300 Jewish residents.

On May 10th, 1940, the Germans established a ghetto in Krośniewice that initially had around 1,500-1,600 Jewish residents. In the following three months, the number of Jews in the ghetto reached 2,000. After the ghetto’s liquidation in 1942, the Jews there were then transported to the death camp at Chełmno.